Behind the Scenes with Felecia Milton

Felecia smiles up from her computer

For more than 20 years, Felecia Milton has served the UF neuroscience research community, and in 2009, she began her current role as an administrative specialist with the McKnight Brain Institute.

Felecia’s duties are wide-ranging and include serving as the MBI’s building and security access manager and assisting with the institute’s payroll, budget, major construction projects, lab space management and various Education and Outreach Committee awards and endeavors.

“For two decades, Felecia has been the consistent engine powering the MBI’s role in our neuroscience community. Felecia’s substantial impact is felt in so many ways, but especially in our education and outreach, administration services, and building and financial operations efforts,” said Jada Lewis, Ph.D., deputy director of the MBI.

Years at UF: 33 (retiring in 2023!)

Years at the MBI: 21 (I began working with the UF Department of Neuroscience in 2000 and serving as administrative specialist with the MBI in 2009.)

A memorable moment: 

I once had the great pleasure to meet Christopher Reeve (Superman star who was paralyzed in a horseback-riding accident) when I worked in the department of neuroscience for Dr. Paul Reier. I was starstruck and sweating from being so nervous. ‘Superman’ called me over to the side and said, ‘Felecia, just chill, everything is fine, you have done a wonderful job putting everything together, relax and enjoy.’ That made me feel much better. I arranged and planned an entire scientific event at the MBI for his visit, including a luncheon. It was a great three-day event that I will never forget. We were also able to take photos with him in a lab.

I’m inspired by:

My family, especially my husband and daughter. They keep me grounded. I also had three strong black women (all of whom are deceased now) in my family who instilled the lessons of love, family, peace, faith and other strong life values within me. First, my grandmother: She owned her own juke joint during a time when women, let alone black women, didn’t usually own establishments, they just worked in them. Next is my mother: She was the first black woman to manage a major retail store in a time and town where managers were mostly white men. Last but not least, my aunt: She was very influential in the local educational system for over 30 years and strived for all children to have a great education. These three women were and still are the greatest inspirations of my life. They taught me how to be strong and how to conquer anything in this world. I love spending time with my family and cooking huge Sunday and holiday dinners for a group of 30-plus family members. We reminisce about the old days, play indoor/outdoor games and listen to music. My family means the most to me.

Fun fact:

I love listening to music, cooking, dancing, shopping (I think everyone knows that about me), helping people, watching college and professional football (avid fan), riding roller coasters, traveling and decorating. I also love going to concerts, especially to see Charlie Wilson, from the GAP Band, my favorite. I’ve seen him in concert 10-plus times and will drive to another state to see him. My husband took me to Albany, Georgia, to see him for our anniversary before the pandemic. We had great seats right in front of the stage. Another fun fact about me is that my favorite animal is the unicorn, even though it’s a mythical creature. Lastly, I’m a former police officer and police communications officer, and I love all police and fire television drama series and live vicariously through them!

Photos by Jackie Hart